The Finnish tyre people Nokian (who were responsible for the first 3″ DH bike monster treads) have got together with the Finnish phone people Nokia to develop tyres with a microchip that’ll ring your mobile if things aren’t right with your rolling stock.
These “intelligent” tyres presently monitor tyre pressures and temperature, but are being developed to sense tyre wear, hydro-planing, slush-planing and even theft. The tyres will retrofit straight to your car without any additional gear, the only requirement being a mobile phone with a wireless ‘Bluetooth’ communicator system.
Nokian are looking for development partners but plan to have the first wave of truck, van and car tyres available next year, and are looking at using the technology in other tyre applications as soon as possible.
When they’ll get round to bike tyres we’re not quite sure, but presumably it’ll be after they’ve worked out the best way to answer the phone halfway through a mud slide or front wheel blowout. In the meantime we reckon we’ll leave the phone for the aftermath of such emergencies.